Viticulture is estimated to have been introduced into the area of Catalonia through trade by the Phoenicians and the Greeks around 400 B.C. Except for the period of the Moorish invasion of the area, Catalonia has cultivated grapes ever since.
Today there are 10 distinct denominations for Catalan wine regions, with mostly Mediterranean grape varieties, primarily Garnacha and Carignan among red grapes, and Garnacha Blanca and Xarel·lo among white grapes. There is also Tempranillo, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah and Trepat planted throughout Catalonia, as well as the white varieties Parellada and Macabeo, which are primarily used for the production of Cava, Spain’s premier sparkling wine.
Blai Limousines is a chauffeured car rental company based in Barcelona and tied to the territory, offering services that range from transfers to full day excursions. The company participates at IWINETC 2016 as a supplier of transportation services to facilitate the knowledge of the Catalan wine producing regions. The private tours offered by the company are personalized to the very last detail, adapting them to the passengers preferences as to pick up times and duration of the tours.
There are full- and half-day tours covering all wine producing areas. For those visiting for the first time with tight time schedules, there is the possibility of visiting small wineries in the Alella area near Barcelona, which include a guided tour of the vines on a 4WD vehicle, wine tasting and lunch at the vineyard.
For full-day tours the company recommends the Penedès and Priorat areas. Penedès is the home of Catalan Cava, and what makes the Priorat unique from the rest of Spain and much of the world is that its century-old vineyards are planted with 360 degrees of exposure.